Email Not as Private as you may think?

Description: Some of the free providers of e-mail frequently scan e-mail for keywords, but one company is working to make e-mail more secure.


Date: Aug 21, 2013


Questions for discussion:

1. How would you describe to someone why email is not secure and private?

2.  What can an individual do to make thier email more secure and private?


42 thoughts on “Email Not as Private as you may think?

  1. Lance Rosen

    Peoples information sent from email clients gets sold to other companies. It is not safe. If it is free, they can scan it for clues, to target ads to your ‘free’ email desktop.

    They could pay for a private email, have obscure providers, or buy an email program that encrypts your email and keeps it safe. Quite complicated!

  2. Justin Quintin

    E mail is not that safe because at the end of the day, if your not paying for the product, you are the product. That means your information is what is at stake. the ability for the company to have access to your files, find out what you are talking about, and turn that information into useful marketing information- that is the trade off. you information for the product.

    To protect yourself, you really need to be a tech geek. some suggestions are to Seek out more obscure e mail websites, use email programs that bypass the middle man, and install encryption software. For the average consumer, it is quite difficult to keep e mails private.

    Increasingly, we are going to see more and more of these companies offering security- for a fee.

  3. Katie

    I have never really trusted my personal email engines. The fact that I am sending something online to someone else and that anyone could potentially have access to the information inside of it made me a little unsure. Big companies like Google and Hotmail do try and make it seem more and more secure but will it ever be %100 secure? There is always the use of encryption software to help protect yourself but I personally have never had the time or know how to do such a thing. Since companies can scan my emails and use key words to target me is helpful is some ways but I also do not like the thought of EVERY personal email being scanned. All the junk mail that I have to sort through every day is frustrating and detracts from what I really try to use my mail for. How ever scans made by the government are for our protection so sometimes it can be hard to decide if you want to have it at all or just a little.

  4. Daniel Reina

    1. How would you describe to someone why email is not secure and private?
    Email services are a “free service”, or so we all thought. If it was actually free we wouldn’t have them. It is a business. Email is not secure and private because the content of our email is what drives the ads that other companies pay for. Basically the content of our emails is the product of the email service provider. The messages we send to one another will be used to target certain ads on our web mail service, so email service providers will continue to look at your content so they can sell ad services to companies so they can stay in business and provide the “free service”
    2. What can an individual do to make thier email more secure and private?
    People should look for smaller email providers that will be less likely to sell your information. There are also software programs that you can install in your computer to encrypt messages so a password will be required to open it and read it. Also, you can watch what you say in your emails, if there is sensitive information and you are using a public service provider you may want to use other methods for communication.

  5. Ruzaan du Plooy

    In this day and age I hope that everyone that is using any sort of social media realizes that their information is not private and anything talked about or shared can definitely be infiltrated by a third party. Email is not protected at all, and can be easily hacked, along with a persons Facebook, twitter, and even any banking and individual does on the internet. It is actually turning into an extremely terrifying thing, realizing that the content on even your phone isn’t private. The word privacy, is not something that our culture fights for, although they should. I think this generation doesn’t think about the consequences, more about the moment and what they want to do, instead of what they should. For example when we tag ourselves at a place on Facebook or four square, how safe is that really? You are willingly putting your whereabouts on the internet for absolutely anyone to see. So what i’m trying to say is that most people in this culture are not concerned with whether or not their information is private. However, there are a few different ways that you can go about securing your email. One would be to give your internet wifi a password, and make sure that you have encryption software on your computer. How it works is that when you send an email, your email is encrypted with a code, and when the receiver gets that email, they will need to decrypt the email using the same code that your computer generated to send that email. That makes it very difficult for hackers to read your messages because they don’t know the encryption code you used.

  6. Annalise Janhunen

    Every person who uses any social media, email or other services provided online is aware that the information they put on it or share is not private. Email is certainly not protected and can be accessed easily by those who are trained to do so. If an individual wishes to keep information being sent via email private they should (as the video mentioned) look into encryption software that will garble up their messages and make them illegible to others.
    The intent of any business is to make money and if they are able to do this by accessing information being sent via email, they will. From the business’ standpoint it is a very effective tool they can use in order to boost the company overall. Advertising is also a highly effective tool businesses can use to boost sales. If they can do this through accessing information about individuals via email, there is no doubt that they will.

  7. Bryan Litchfield

    Case after case has shown us just how public our emails actually are. In the movie we watched in last class we saw how a companies whole job was to search hard drives finding emails for legal purposes, and how easy it was for them to do that. The sentence that got my attention the most was “that if you are not paying for the product, you are not the customer, you are the product itself,” meaning we need to be aware of these companies that are giving us free services because we do not have a say in what they are doing with that information we are freely giving them. That being said, i would say the same thing if i was trying to sell people on my product as well. Companies can promise security and privacy through these servers but at what cost? A company can be completely private by never going online or sending any emails but is it worth it? Of course not. To have the convenience of email comes with a small loss of freedom, but we need to decide if it is worth it to us. When a product is released that allows a more secure way to send emails use it, but until then we just need to appreciate the fact that we no longer have to ride our horse miles upon miles to talk to someone and that we can exchange information with the ease of clicking a button.

  8. Alex Schow

    One of the main things that I would attempt to tell someone is that email is owned by the originization or firm company etc that you have to the account with. When you sign up with any of these sources you will find that many of them have special permissions to access your stuff. They don’t usually have people that are entering your emails one at a time and reading all of your messages but they rather have softeware that will search through your emails for all of the relevant words phrases that you are already entering when you send an email to one of your friends/coworkers/family. There are a few things that one can do in an attempt to make your email more private. One of these things is that you can have your email go through your computer instead of an account on some random website. There is also the idea or option of encryption. This makes your email so that it cannot be read from any other onlooker except for the person in whom you are sending the email to. Now some email companies are working harder to make sure that you may know that your emails are private and they are working to help you gain more privacy in regards to your emails. All in all push come to shove etc. You will find that in a world like this that ultimately there is too much information out there. All that we can do is try our best to organize it in a way that it can be analyzed processized, and propesized. Ok maybe just anaylzed.

  9. victor olayioye

    Nothing is ever free! For every free thing you get theirs always a price to pay! Just like in this very case of emails. We pay the very big price of losing our privacy when we use this so called free email systems.Mails sent over this system can be accessed just with the click of one button all over the world.I feel in order to make our Emails private and secure we need to take so may drastic actions like:
    (1) Limiting the use of the email system: I feel the use of this system should be limited to just sending messages that do not contain very private information which could harm the sender if it falls into the wrong hands. If the information is really private and confidential you might want to convey it in person or through another means of communication.
    (2) Encryption software’s: So many people frown at this idea because the first thing that comes to their mind is “encryption software’s are too expensive)” but really if your privacy and security is important to you then you should be willing to go the extra mile to get this encryption software’s.
    This is just my candid opinion on this issue.

  10. Joel Heyland

    You can’t blame others for driving down a road you don’t owe. Public e-mail corporations who offer a free service have the right to access whatever the users input while using their services. Public e-mail is not secure or private because the contents of your e-mails are viewable to the provider your associated with. They can data mine within your account and when needed look through your inbox, outbox, contacts, etc. As a result of data mining through your given information they can collect, sell to and coordinate with advertising agencies to campaign directly to you based off preferences you have. E-mail is not private because our traditional view of mail is only our eyes can lawfully look at whats addressed to us, but public e-mail companies have the right to view and access our online mail, thus dismissing what we’ve been accustomed to through postal services.

    A great option for securing a more private e-mailing experience would be to use “mailpile’s” services when they release their software. Also, be on the look out for other e-mail services offering encryption software that will allow only the sender and immediate receiver to view an e-mail and it’s contents. McCarthy in the video suggests that the e-mail business needs to de-centralize allowing for many more competitors to enter the scene and provide service for smaller groups of individuals. I think it’s important individuals are educated about e-mail privacy, because there are far too many assumptions that we have the right to privacy as individuals even when using someone else’s product or service. This may or may not influence the contents one would send online knowing he or she are being data mined and watched by coorperations.

  11. Jessika Hayward

    Although most people use their email several times a day without overthinking the security, it is something we all need to remember. Where is there ever a time where you use a service without having to pay something? Never. When you have to sign up for email it may seem as though we get this free system that can store our mail, save our friends emails, and be used as a means to communicate. It is such an amazing creation and has grown over the years. People need to remember that just because you have your “secret password” it does not mean that no one else can get in. They have access to all of your information; of course they can look at all of your files if they want! Somewhere in the fine print when you sign up for email im sure it explains the privacy act as well. But does anyone read those carefully? We cant be surprised to find out that our information is or ever will be completely “private”.
    If you want to find a way to make it private, there are programs you can download…therefore spending more money. Also trying to update your password regularily helps. In general however, using your email is never going to be the safest thing and we should be very careful with what we send.

  12. Nicolle Keim

    Computers and information systems are growing extensively in our economy and we need to watch what is being put on the internet. While emails are a huge part of everyone’s lives, they are not private. Emails are easily read by anyone and they are no secret. Just as your computer scans and saves your documents for work, school papers or even your resume, they are also scanning and saving your emails. With this data, any company or person that has the technical skills has access to your emails. All the ads displayed on the side of your email are from companies that have retrieved your emails to market specific things you like. Most importantly, companies need to secure their email systems within their organizations. With this scarce realization that emails are no longer your “personal email” can be frightening and even an invasion of privacy. To protect companies and individuals from others getting access to your email software’s are being installed. Encryption software’s vital to have if you do not want others to read your emails. This software guarantees that only the person you send the message to, receives it. I think that companies especially need to invest in software’s such as these. This type of software can help them ensure that other companies cannot see important emails. I also think that it could be a disadvantage to companies. Organizations need to be able to see what their employees send for security reasons. With increasing amounts of technology and information systems, companies need to stay innovated.

  13. Jesslyn Strand

    By these companies supplying us with this service without cost should be alarming to most people. The fact that they are not receiving any benefits by providing it for free allows us to think as ourselves as the benefit. In the video, it states that we are the product ourselves. We assume email is private but they are easily read by any individual. Especially with advertising, if you are sending emails about certain products or adventures, you will then start seeing advertising for these across your internet page. A computer can scan and encrypt your email stating all emails are not private. There are many cases within companies where they have caught an injustice act through email causing many law suits. You may think you are protected by deleting emails but computer skilled individuals can go back and track all those emails and use them against you. The fact is email is not secure. Organizations are not benefitting by providing you a free service, they have to benefit somehow. By using your emails against you, or by providing information to advertising companies, they are able to make a profit without you even knowing about it. Think before you write.

  14. Lyndsey Schultz

    Email is considered not secure or not private due to the data nature of this form of communication. Once an email is written and sent, it is imprinted into an information system and takes a great deal to remove from this system. Individuals need to consider the information being communicated in emails and whether it is too sensitive to have “imprinted” in the system, once sent.

  15. Aaron Audette

    Email is not secure because it can be accessed by a number of companies through a middle man provider such as google or hotmail. These online email sites give information to companies which is used to send targeted advertising straight to the individual. This abuse of trust seems unfair and makes our safety and security open to public view. Individuals could use email software that is bought and stored locally or using encryption software to scrabble emails until to proper person opens it.

  16. Joanne

    We would have to be naive or foolish to think that our email is secure. Its like saying, “We are all alone in this world.” Truly we are constantly being watched not only by the computer programs but think of all the satelites, surveillance cameras and the towers all over, we are not alone! Email is not secure because its like our mail being transported through someone elses portal, can we really trust that they will not peek at what is being sent? Of course not, everything today is of some commodity to someone out there, it is figuring out how to sell that commodity in a legal way.

    I Would have to say that there is really no way to keep your email secure and private nowadays, unless you actually go out and have a conversation with the persons intended, however that would just waste valuable time. All the industry can suggest is that you have programs installed in your computer that are encrypted for you and the receiver(s). As i said before with technology forever evolving, we are not alone, keep your eyes open!

  17. Jeffrey Jensen

    1. How would you describe to someone why email is not secure and private?

    2. What can an individual do to make their email more secure and private?

    I would explain to them that it is like a post card. You, the mail man and the person you sent it to all get to see it. its not very hidden but it still is semi- pirate away from public eyes. I would go further into how they notice ads, if you are dating relationship sites and notice a lot of spam in you email from dating sites or hook up sites then one could make that obvious conclusion that someone or something is looking into your emails.

    They can use less mainstream emails that have less clients. If they were good with computers they can encryption there emails or write them in a certain way so the computers do not understand what you were meaning to say.

  18. Anthony

    The fact that most big email providers allow us to send and receive emails for free tells us that they are benefiting in some other way by having us use their facilities. They want us to use their sites so that they can have a larger pool of potential ad viewers and customers to those who pay big bucks to advertise through the email provider. The fact that in the clip it was mentioned that Google has said “that users should have no legitimate expectation of privacy,” really opened my eyes. The fact of the matter is there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everything costs something. Personally I am not too upset with the fact that I have been made a target for specific ads because of my emails and the sites I visit. Sometimes it can actually be very convenient. I also understand that I don’t know the big picture. I’m sure that in the wrong hands, just like most things, our personal info from emails could be used to harm us. If more and more people demand security and privacy I’m sure more and more businesses will appear offering just that. Given the highly technological world we live in it will always be hard to get off the grid and try to keep everything private. There are companies that want your business and whether through scanning your emails or profiling you through your credit card purchases they just might be able to know exactly what you want. This is the world we live in. But for now I will continue to use my free email sites.

  19. Shannon Storey

    Email is something that people assume is a private way to communicate with someone else. It is not and as far as I am concerned has never been and likely won’t ever be totally. Email is practically an essential in today’s business arena and it has replaced letter writing and phone calls. It is neither secure nor private because it is transmitted over someone else’s “airwave”. That information is forever in technical space and can be retrieved by the host company or anyone that has the knowledge and desire to retrieve it. This information then can be used in a variety of ways, employers can and will use it if needed to terminate employment; lawyers and law enforcement use it to win cases; companies use the information gathered to target with advertisements. Email is a medium of correspondence that is not as private as we hoped it would be.
    At this point, as the video indicated, encryption is one way to go in order to achieve privacy and security. I am not sure that I believe that we can achieve the level of security that tech companies are promising. No matter what, the information of what encryption formula is being used is accessible by someone, somewhere. There will likely always be a host provider who has the information as well there will be companies that in response will develop an encryption breaking software and sell it to those that want it most. I think that no matter how much we try to protect our email, it is never going to be private and secure.

  20. Richard Reimer

    Emails are and have been a major component of our lives for many years, and for the looks of it they still will be for many more years to come. The vast majority of us use a free email service and many people who are still catching up with the fast advancement of technology still might have the idea that emails are considerably safe. The fact is that because the email providers do not charge us for the service they are rendering to us, they can legally look at every single email that is sent from every person that has an account with them. They read our emails and scan them for key thoughts or ideas, which they will use to advertise to us on our accounts. We can see that having a free email account can cost us our privacy and it still helps the email providers to make considerable amounts of money.
    If you are a person who is not bothered that your privacy is being invaded then continue using the free email providers, but if this affects you then you will have to look for alternatives that can cost you a bit of money but will protect your privacy.
    You could also use encryption keys that will allow no third party to read emails sent between you and the receiver. The only down side to the encryption keys is that they might me difficult to use if you don’t have sufficient knowledge about that kind of technology. The decision will be yours.

  21. Emily Gedlaman

    I do not see this presentation of information as any sort of shock. When we are not paying for a service, in this case, email, we have no reason to think we are receiving a high standard of security within the service. All businesses have one common objective: to make a profit. In the case of email services such as gmail, yahoo or Hotmail, the same is true. Information is used and sold to external parties for data mining and adversiting. It is not secure or private. We waive rights to the privacy of our information by creating these accounts and using them. E-mail is compared to post cards in the clip. I thought this was a very good comparison, and we need to be aware of this reality. Those in the middle of the process can easily view information only intended for the receiver. E-mail is used and relied upon endlessly in our society. It is not just a way to communicate short messages. It has become a lifeline, and many people are dependent on it to communicate and send information.

    There are strategies to recovering our privacy, such as encryption programs and email programs that are on your personal computer to take out the “middle man”, however these really are not easy for those who are not extremely tech-savvy or those who are not trained in the field. I think certain measures such as a secure and regularly changed password can be taken to secure external privacy of our e-mail, but this will certainly not do anything about the issue being discussed. I suppose we have to accept to some extent what the service we are signing up for involves- a lack of privacy.

  22. Jing.Li

    We have to confirm that email makes our daily life more convenient and effective. To a large extent, email is an important part of our life. However, as for the product relays on Internet itself, there are some security issues that people should be awared. Computers can remember our pass words even we have already logded off. Internet records everything when we browse website. Companies find commercial opportunities through the email. They have a huge data base of their potential customers and send advertisement to make more profits. Also, hackers and virus damage our everyday connection system. In the most situation, people take measure to protect their data. For example, people update their computer systems regularly. However, these plans sometimes cannot guarantee the perfect safety of the system because hackers are more prepared and skilled. Moreover,people often open spam without thinking. That action always put yourself on the risk. Maybe, once you open that email, a certain virus may spread to your mailbox. People will lose many important documents. From this view, email low people’s work efficiency.

    In my opinion, email has already been part of our life and nothing can replace it now. It helps people’s work more efficient and get people involved. Therefore, due to email’s advantage is over its disadvantage,be careful when we use email and clean our mailbox regularly. It is also a better way if you change you password frequently. Do not put private information in the mailbox,like bank information or visa copy. Establishing a good habit to make email benefit us more.

  23. Shine Landayan

    When sending files, the first thing that I think about is email. It’s accurate, fast, and it’s free! It never crossed my mind that someone in the middle is reading my messages that are not supposed to be for them even once. It’s fine for them to know stuffs that are like what I was planning to buy or to sell. But it worries me that someone might trace me just by sending an email to a friend. Or much worst if I had email someone or received an email about the money in my bank account and my personal informations. It’s true that email is convenient to use, but it’s not worth than keeping my informations. Now that I think about it, even if letters sent through LBC or any shipping companies cost money and will take time to get to the receiver, it’s still safer because they don’t open it and look at what’s inside.
    Considering the fact that people will surely still prefer email, we could still send emails, but we have to be aware that there are third parties reading our email so we have to be careful on what we email. Other than that, it is mentioned at the end of the video clip that applications that will protect are emails are already available.

  24. Jing Li

    We have to confirm that email makes our daily life more convenient and effective. To a large extent, email is an important part of our life. However, as for the product relays on Internet itself, there are some security issues that people should be awared. Computers can remember our pass words even we have already logded off. Internet records everything when we browse website. Companies find commercial opportunities through the email. They have a huge data base of their potential customers and send advertisement to make more profits. Also, hackers and virus damage our everyday connection system. People often open spam without thinking. That action always put yourself on risk. In my opinion, email has already been part of our life and nothing can replace it now. It helps people’s work more efficient and get people involved. Therefore, due to email’s advantage is over its disadvantage,be careful when we use email and clean our mailbox regularly. Establishing a good habit to make email benefit us more.

  25. Scott Eriksen

    Email, especially free email (gmail, yahoo, hotmail), is not and example of a human being using a product; it is an example of a human being BECOMING the product. The owners and operators of these free email systems are constantly monitoring, analyzing, and decoding every email that is sent around the globe. The email companies are doing this word-by-word analysis of every email in order to construct ads targeted at individual consumers interests based on the words they are using in their emails. Email privacy essentially doesn’t exist.

    There are ways, however, that an email consumer can have some privacy attached to their online messaging, and that is through encryption; altering and jumbling the emails themselves so that only the intended recipient will be able to read the message that was intended for only them. In the video, however, it was mentioned that even talking about email privacy through a public email account resulted in advertisements about encryption services being delivered to that account. I don’t think fully private email exists in this world.

  26. Priya Boyal

    Email is not a secure or private way of communication since many large email companies scan emails in order to sell specifically targeted adds. Companies have computers that will scan emails and pick up key words or terms that will benefit marketers. In this type of industry, businesses are always trying to establish where the demand is centred, and this is a great way that companies have found useful. By scanning emails, companies can uncover a lot about your interests, hobbies, and what you are willing to spend money on. With free email services, we should hold no expectations of privacy.

    It can be difficult to make your email more secure or private without having more knowledge or experience with computers and encryption programs. It does not guarantee security but using an email provider with fewer users would be safer, as well as one that is not associated with large marketers. Also, by using an email program that is in your computer would allow for more privacy. This video introduced the idea that it is necessary to have software that will garble up messages being sent. This would make messages readable by only those who it is intended for. I would not share private information over email and rather find a more secure means of communication if it was something that was highly confidential. It is important to keep in mind, like the video said, that and email is more like a postcard which can be viewed by just about anyone.

  27. Ryan Gladun

    Free email is not necessarily secure or private due to the fact that these large companies are scanning through you emails looking for keywords and then will proceed to target you with advertisements specific to these keywords. These companies must make money somehow, so they use this process of data mining.

    To become more secure, users can look into smaller email providers, encrypt their emails or use email that is downloaded onto the computer.

  28. Sandro Moser

    I strongly agree with google when they say if you use are stuff you will be watched. That applies to most things for example if I go to the watersides and start getting out of control ill be asked to leave because they were watching me. Google and other major companies have the right to scan emails and find trends or even threats that can be exposed. People that have a problem with privacy settings on email absolutely rattle me. If you have to hide something then don’t do it over line, simple as that.

  29. Ellen Sparling

    “if your not paying- your not a customer, you are the product yourself”
    Companies providing emails such as google, hotmail and yahoo have the right to scan every word written in your emails for clues to sell target ads- which you will find when you visit social media sites. It finally makes sense to me when I see an ad that is of interest to me sitting on the right hand side of my facebook page- its not ironic.. it was put there for a reason! There should be no expectation of privacy.. the best thing to do is:
    -decentralize: seek out obscure email providers
    -use a email program on your computer which bypasses middle man
    -encryption software so only read by whom it is sent to
    I would still not have the expectation that your email is completely private, and that you should always be careful when sending anything.

  30. Kris Moore

    It is hard to protect your privacy in a society that is so dependent on information technology in the way that we conduct our daily lives. Smart phones, tablets, and laptops have dominated our work spaces and our personal privacy since their introduction. While using a free email account online, the user is not paying a fee to use their service, thus the company providing this service will need to find other ways to increase their revenue and create a profitable business. These email service providers generate revenues by advertisements that are placed at the corner of the screen while you are scrolling through your inbox. In order for these advertising companies to pay Google or Yahoo! for their ad space, the advertisement company will need to know that their ads are being sent to the correct demographic. This is where your privacy comes into play. Email service providers will scan through your emails to find specific key words that are common in the emails you send to your family and friends, and will target you with ads that you might take interest in. If this is troublesome for you and you would rather your emails not to be read by a person sitting in a data center in a country that you haven’t even heard of, you may want to think about encryption software for your emails. This will apply a specific code to each email sent which will create a barrier between your email and anyone who tries to read it, other than the rightful recipient of the email. You may also try an up-and-coming mail service called “Mailpile” which supposedly keeps your privacy in your hands, not in the hands of advertising companies.

  31. Stephen Ross

    You know when you are on facebook and you begin seeing ads that are eerily similar to your interests? That is because they are your interests. The idea here is that computer programs used by large companies scan your emails being sent from your computer. This video suggests that most email providers do this – even the big names like Google. These computer programs scan your email looking for tag words that highlight your interests like “skiing”. You would then begin seeing skiing ads floating around your browser.

    There are a few ways you can protect your self – like encryption software that encrypts your emails leaving your computer so that the programs cannot read the words. A new email provider called “Mailpile” is coming out – advertised by the video – that promises to keep your emails safe from these programs, and never release information.

  32. Nicole Toth

    Billions of emails are sent each and every day and they are not as secure as everyone would think. Most people use email servers such as Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo. These companies have access to the emails you send and have computers scanning for information about you. These computers are looking for key words about you and any words that can lead to a possible advertisement you might be interested in. Example is if you use the word “car” in a few of your emails you may get an advertisement for a new car. Emails are like postcards and can be easily read by anyone who goes through your mail and looks at them and that is what email server companies are beginning to do. Bringing to attention that emails are not as secure or private as most people would think. To make their email more secure and private an individual could do a number of things. The first thing you could do is decentralize yourself and use an obscure email producer that has few users and is less attractive to bigger companies. A new email server called Mail Pile is coming out that promises to have better email protection. Even better you could install a email program on your computer and bypass having any middle man. Also, installing a encryption software is a helpful way to prevent outsiders from reading your emails. Best thing to do is to keep your eyes open and be aware of these privacy issues while you are using the Internet.

  33. Tina Brown

    Email is not private, regardless of if it is a pay-for services (Telus, Shaw, ULeth or AOL) or a free service (hotmail, gmail, yahoo). At one time or another all of these systems have been compromised, hacked or somehow had their customer information compromised.
    It is no different from your sending a letter and having it intercepted by someone. The difference is that you were never promised you email would be secure, there are few laws protecting email (unlike traditional snail mail).
    Additionally, email users don’t know typically where the email servers for email are located and they are subject to the laws of the physical country where they are housed. For example, if you have a gmail account you may be subject to US homeland security laws.
    There are encryption services and/or standard legal disclosures used in many businesses. These offer a modest amount of protection, but can give you legal recourse if for some reason the email were used in an inappropriate way (e.g. Stock trading instructions sent to broker via email after explicitly stating in email footer this will not be allowed).
    Like many technology products would caution the average consumer to have a standard “buyer beware” warning. With the standard agreements with service providers being long, full of legal talk and generally not read by the consumer… we rarely understand what the rights and obligations of the service are fully.
    Regardless of the drawbacks of these email services, email is a communication norm for most of us… and we’ll just delete the spam.

  34. Daube Martin

    Email is secured ? Of course not ! As all what you do on the Internet is tracked, the email you send are scanned by companies such as google from which you have your mail adress. How do they use your data ? They sell it to another companies who will target you with some advertising linked to the content of your email. Did you spoke about buying a car with a friend ? Surprise, you will see some cars advertising on your screen, or receive some spams !

    Can we avoid to be spied even in our emailbox ? Of course ! But guess what ? You will may have to pay for it, as usual. But it’s true that it’s not always the case ! Some companies will develop secured software like the one in the video. You can also use mail adress whose the company behind have fewer consumers. In this way, you will be target with add by less companies.

    To conclude, juste remember that your privacy is not respected in your email, so be careful ! And about these advertising, don’t pay attention for it. Remember that you can reach your friends all over the world for free through your email adress! There is not only drawbacks…

  35. Karly Froehlick

    The objective of any company is to make money. This is true for companies that provide email services as well, but it is something we do not often think of. To a user of email service it appears that the company’s best interest is to provide free email service to its user. As users we do not realize the company’s goal is to make money and they are doing that but using the emails we send through their company. Each and every email sent through this free service is being scanned by computers and other technology. The emails are being scanned to see what is being sent between the users of the company. They search for repetition of certain words to learn about your interests or something you may soon purchase. An example of this is if you send emails to a friend discussing your interest in travelling, you may shortly after see ads on the screen that offer trips at low prices. You click on these ads and book a trip through the company and Hotmail or Gmail is benefiting from you. This shows your emails are not as private and secure as you thought. Anything you do online whether it is through blogging, Facebook or even email is available for many others to see and use to make money for their company. If you want your emails to remain private, you better be finding a computer wizard to help encode your emails. That is about the only way to keep something you do online private but not many of us have this knowledge or someone nearby that does. Experts are suggesting maybe a less known email company may be more private and secure but there is no guarantees.

  36. Candace Dyck

    Email was never meant to be secure because it was never meant to be such a huge way for people to communicate. When email was first developed, I think the initial thought behind it was to forward messages or to briefly communicate between people using different devices.
    And the more popular it got, the more it grew. Anything you decide to put on the internet has a way of getting into anyone’s hands. I use my email for everything; I use it as a storage device, for communication, to reference back to old resumes or papers that I wrote. And with a free website like Hotmail, you have to wonder how high their security standards are, or if there is a third person actually looking into my email account. I have had the same email and the same password for about 4 years, and I never had a problem until last year. I tried to access my email account threw my iPhone and I received a message that someone had been tampering with my account and I was told to create a new password, it took me about a day and a half to get back into my account with the help of a tech support from Hotmail. I originally thought I had a strong password, but now knowing that I do use it for everything from online shopping to online questioners, you have to wonder who else had access to my information?

    The best way to make your email more secure and private is to change your password regularly and to not store important data or information in your account. You could also try to avoid webpages that may have cookies or viruses that want to access your email

  37. Cole Hofman

    Companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft who operate email services are businesses at the end of the day and the main goal of a business is to make money. Therefore they will have computers scanning your emails to pass on useful information to companies who in turn will make targeted advertisements to get your money. Is this really surprising? No. You are using their services for free and this does cost them money to run these services. Of course they will try to make some return on the usage of this services and in the case of email it is gleaning information for companies to make targeted advertisements. If you want to make your email for secure and private consider using an email services from a less well known provider. If you still are obsessed with the idea of computers scanning your email for key words and phrases you can use encryption software so that the email can only be read by the person that’s meant to read it. How long till companies find a way around this and continue to scan your email who knows. Realistically we can’t expect anything we send over the internet to be completely private. Even if businesses are not scanning your email it is almost guaranteed that your own government is, which of course only do this for your own protection. Simply accept the fact that your email will not be completely secure and take the targeted advertisements as a minor inconvenience of this new age of communication.

  38. Mel Durupt

    Unfortunately once content of any kind hits the world wide web, it’s nearly impossible to control or hide. Because most email is a free service, “we become the product” according to Smari Mccarthy, Information and privacy activist. Essentially this means large companies scan our personal emails (using computers) for keywords or word patterns and pass that information along to marketing firms, or product and service companies that can target us with ads based on popular words. In it’s own defense, Google sited a supreme court ruling stating “users should have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
    Unfortunately, for non-technical users, there’s not much to be done. As consumers who do feel that email specifically should contain an element of privacy we should decentralize, aka use an email program that lives in the computer or consider encryption software that stops outsiders from viewing the content of our mail. We should also keep our eyes open for alternatives; as users wake up to the tricks and tactics of mainstream providers, like Google, Hotmail, and Yahoo, an entirely new market is becoming available and someone will be there to answer demand. Companies like Mailpile: a free non-main stream email company that provides protection to consumers.
    Until then, consider the content of your email and be aware of the terms and conditions of use when employing apparently “free” services or media sites.

  39. Taylor Galipeau

    Email is not currently secure and private because the free companies providing this service have the legal right to your messages. Through the use of computer technologies they are scanning each message you send to gain an insight into your likes, values, and preferences. This information is then sold to marketing companies who can use it to personalize ads to you.
    I think a lot of people in my generation are aware of this but people who are not as comfortable with technology or are new users to computers may be shocked to find this out. Unfortunately it is difficult, especially for these less technologically inclined users, to make your email private and secure. Encryption software is available and new email programs are beginning to emerge but for the average user this is a difficult issue to face.
    As these new email programs with guaranteed safety emerge, more users will switch but until these are free I don’t feel there will be a change in email privacy on the whole. Google offers gmail to gain this information. Some users either won’t know about their lack of privacy and others won’t care enough to pay for a more secure program. Therefore I feel this privacy issue will never be resolved and as technology evolves will only become worse. Soon even more information will be able to be gained from the regulation of emails and ultimately us, as users, won’t be able to do anything about it… Except stop emailing.

  40. Gernot Ruppert

    An E-Mail is not secure at all because the companies are using the data from the e-mails to send them to other companies to make Money out of it. The companies then can make the perfect Fitting advertisement for their customers and reach more target People. Therfore a lot of People can read the E-Mail and not only the Receiver of it.

    Nowadays I maybe get 5 spam Messages a day on my email account so this should be a big sign that your email account is not secure. E-mail companies don’t use good filters to reduce the amount of spam mails or even make it spam free.

    An individual can for example encrypt his emails by using Special programms and then sent it to the Receiver. But it must be sure that the Receiver of the email can decrypt it to read the message. So it is not really easy for People who are not so familiar with using a Computer.

    You could also start using new programms like the one in the Video and I also think that this will be the direction where the other big email companies have to evolve to. Otherwise they will not be successfull in the future.

  41. jiabei.chen

    As we know that lost of E-mail are free right now. However, is the E-mail really free? i use three kinds of e-mail which include Hotmail, G-mail, and QQ-mail. I need to check my e-mail every day. There are lots of advertisement e-mail in my box. I need to delete it everyday. How did they get my e-mail address? In fact, the E-mail company will give the address to other people. It is not secure. In addition, they will get the money form the people or company who want your information. Therefore, it is why they do not charge you.
    When we apply the E-mail, we need fill in the form. This is kind of tell people your private. In fact, if e-mail company can keep your information as secret. You will be safe.
    For individual make their E-mail secure and private, i think people do not send some important information from e-mail. It is the best way to keep you safe. In addition, people can have secret question or number for the important e-mail.

  42. Tarek Saleh

    A person can seek different programs that use email that have fewer users and less attracted to big marketers. Another option is using an email program that bypasses the middleman and perhaps also looking at encryption software so this will garble every message and can only be read by the person who it is sent to.

    Email is not secure and private cause big companies like Hotmail and Google (whom publicly announced that they do watch over your emails) are being used by marketing and other companies to better sell and attract certain customers. Although it isn’t an easy process to do because you must really know how to access this type of encrypting. Companies will see emails that use key words that might be applied to their product or service and use that to send you emails that we usually consider junk.

    I really think this is shocking, due to before watching this video, I was not aware of this type of thing, but now it really awakens me. I believe in the future when pprograms like “Mailpile” come out, it will be successful because no one will like the idea of their emails being scanned like they are, which I strongly believe will force big companies like Google to make adjustments to their current way of doing things.


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